It will interest you to know that the whole process of catfish farming can be summarized into three activities of six basic stages. These stages explain in brief all you need to know about catfish farming business. Probably you have read manuals running into hundreds of pages on catfish farming. Don’t worry; this write-up will be the simplest and most precise manual on catfish farming. Below are all you need to know and do to be successful in catfish farming business.
Pre-Catfish Farming Activity
Step 1 falls under pre-farming activity. Under this stage, your interest in the business (catfish farming) is important. Your interest will help you to acquire all knowledge you need to have. As you are reading this article, you begin to access knowledge on catfish farming. As a matter of fact, there are many platforms through which you can gain knowledge of catfish farming: you can learn firsthand through practicing catfish farmers or through genuine information that can be accessed through online platforms like ProfitableFishFarming.com where you learn and ask questions as well as receive answers to questions bothering your mind.
This step also falls under pre-farming catfish activity. Step 2 explains the means and process of obtaining capital needed for your business. The volume of capital needed depends on the scale of your proposed farm. The bigger the scale, the bigger the capital needed. In one of my previous articles, I discussed extensively nine various sources of capital available for catfish farmers in Nigeria. Choose any of the sources mentioned as applicable to you and begin the real farming activities of this business.
I always suggest to my students to always start small and expand as they get better understanding of catfish farming. It would not be a bad idea to start from your backyard container in order to obtain basis of catfish farming through practice. The knowledge obtained can now be transferred to real catfish farming. So, keep your money and learn how to profit through it.
Catfish Farming Activity
Step 3: After obtaining a sure source of finance to commence your catfish business, the next stage is to acquire space for your farm. The space needed can be leased or bought out-rightly depending on the available capital. The kind of space needed is the one with tangible source of water (borehole, stream, river, etc). Whether earthen, concrete, containers, or synthetic rubber ponds, water is needed on a regular basis. I often advise a beginner to start by leasing/renting ponds, after which you can invest on your own land.
Also under this stage falls pond preparation. Some earthen ponds may need some sort of demudding, fixing of pipes, liming, netting, etc. On your concrete ponds too, you might need to correct some cracks on the wall. These preparations will make your ponds ready for stocking.
Your success or otherwise in this business is further established under this stage. Good source of fingerlings/juvenile is everything under this stage. Ensure you investigate well before you settle for any seed because the quality of your seed determine to a large extent how successful you will be in this farming business. I can only recommend two or three places where juveniles can be acquired or obtained. Stock your fishes and watch them grow.
Step 5 still falls under production stage. At this stage farmer chooses from a wide variety of alternative feeds available to feed their fishes. There are numbers of imported and locally made floating feed in Nigerian market of today that you can choose from. I will only recommend one or two feeds for your fishes based on my years of experience in this business.
If you like, you can introduce locally pelletized fish feed to your fishes between ages 6 to 8 weeks. Whatever feed you use, don’t ever attempt to compromise quality. Feeding in catfish is garbage in garbage out.
There are other alternative feeds that you can use to complement your pellets. Read my article on supplementary feeds in catfish for further clarification.
Finally, feed your fishes once or twice a day based on the peculiarity of your farm. Make sure you stop feeding when you discover uncontrolled mortality on your ponds. Fishes mature between four to seven months depending on your target market.
This is the final stage of catfish farming activities. Table sized fishes produced are sold in the appropriate market. The choice of market depends largely on sizes produced and scale of production. Market in this context refers to local, regional, national and international markets.
At times, getting market for your catfishes could be the most difficult aspect of this business. It’s sometimes frustrating to start looking for buyers when your fishes are ready for sale. For this reason, I always encourage farmers to have markets in mind at the stage of production. Your production size should meet the demand of majority in the market. I am currently working on the list of catfish buyers